Funny how a person becomes more thoughtful as they age. I remember chasing a short-tailed shrew around the basement a few years ago and finally killing it with a swatter. That’s a mistake. Shrews are insectivores, have a very high metabolism and a voracious appetite. One living in your basement will eat every sow bug, ant, and centipede that they encounter and they will encounter a lot. They are small and fast and constantly on the move. If you are inclined, you can even live trap one outside and bring it inside by using a small Havahart Trap baited with bacon or an earthworm.I
I was also in the habit of killing any spider I found in the house. Then I watched a show on TV that explained that spiders eat hundreds if not thousands of flies during their lifetime. I don’t particularly like spiders but I hate flies so now I leave the occasional spider in the house and leave them all in the basement. In fact a few years ago there was a particularly large web beside my basement stairs and I had great fun caching houseflies, flicking them on the web and watching the action. The spider would instantly go to the fly, twirl it up in a bag of silk and save it for a snack later. I would try to fool the spider into action by jingling the web but it was never fooled. Try it.